From a pack of 154 dogs, ‘HR Manager’ Allan has been crowned Top Office Dog, much to the delight of his colleagues at Electric Kiwi.
The awards were announced at ‘A Dogs Breakfast’ Conference this morning in Auckland. Frog Recruitment director Jane Kennelly said Allan was a well-deserved winner.
“We really appreciated his persistence, entering three years in a row. He’s a genuine office dog who comes to the office every day. Electric Kiwi integrates dogs into the workplace, with three or four canine companions at work on any given day,” she says.
Chris Scott from Electric Kiwi says if you asked Allan, a Weimaraner, he’d probably say that he’s not really a dog, but a four-legged human. And a good-looking one at that.
“Allan is serious, he’s calculated, silent and incredibly headstrong. He’s often found sleeping splayed out on his back in the most unnatural of positions, or dragging his mat across the floor and pushing his way in to meetings to oversee the daily goings-on, so has well and truly earned his title as HR Manager. He’s a joy to have around on a daily basis and is more than worthy of the title of NZ Top Office Dog.”
The competition was established in 2015 by leading recruitment agency, Frog Recruitment, after their research highlighted the impressive impact a four-legged friend can have in the workplace.
“It is well documented that allowing pets, particularly dogs, into the office helps their owners, but it also brings positive benefits to the workplace. Our poochie colleagues have been shown to improve morale, reduce absenteeism and stress-related illnesses, and help with improving employees’ mental health,” adds Jane.
The Frog Recruitment and Conferenz Dog’s Breakfast event was held at the Ellerslie Convention Centre and raised funds for the Saving Hope Foundation, an organisation dedicated to saving abused dogs. The breakfast was a celebration of all things “doggie” and included tips on how to set up workplaces for dogs and employees, with the aim of boosting wellbeing.
Guest speakers included Labour MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Dr Elsa Flint and co-owner of WORLD fashion house Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, who spoke on how a fashion empire grew with the help of her late Jack Russell named Jack, who came to work with her every day for sixteen years.
“I now have two Chihuahuas, Mr. Big, who I have had since a puppy, and Jethro, who was rescued from the Humane Society. I work a lot from home now, with the boys, and one of our directors brings his little black pug named Apollo to the office every day.
“WORLD has always had dogs at work, first Jack, then Mr. Big and Jeth, and now Apollo, we never ever gave it a second thought, just could not leave them at home all day. I do believe they make the workplace a happier one,” said Denise.
Two new categories were introduced to the 2019 competition; NZ Top Dog-With-A-Job and People’s Choice.
Taking out the Dog-With-A-Job title was Willow, a therapy dog at the Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust on Auckland’s North Shore. Willow’s work takes her into schools, the community, business and one-on-one mentoring, building the bridge in communication and confidence for a young person when navigating their career pathway.
The Trust’s Sonia Nerheny says although Willow’s official title is a pet therapy dog, her roles cover so much more than that.
“Willow’s work takes her everywhere and her celebrity status means she is frequently being hailed for cuddles. She networks with her colleagues in the Police, KCFT team and youth. Her companionship has aided in mentoring and building the soft skills all children and youth require. From showering Ministry officials with affection to being a doggy-guard to her owner – Willow’s work embodies a holistic approach to community social work.”
The judging panel awarded Willow the coveted prize as she is “genuinely a dog of the people and hugely involved in a number of community projects.”
The People’s Choice award was awarded to Finn the Whippet, whose job as Unitec’s Mental Health Pawtection Squad earns him infinite tummy rubs from campus students and staff.
“We are thrilled with the number of entries into the 2019 competition. It shows that dogs are really man’s best friend and have joy in their paws, in and out of the office,” says Jane.
All three winners received trophies and a prize pack including Animates vouchers and one year’s supply of Simparica Flea Treatment courtesy of Zoetis and doggles to wear when their heads are out the car window.